Hello from the Greening the Libraries Group

We would like to take this opportunity to tell you about our group, why we exist, and our progress so far.  The University has committed to reduce annual campus energy usage by a minimum of 5 percent by the end of 2010, and the Greening the Libraries group was formed in July to explore how we can support the University's goals and objectives in this area.    The idea of cultivating Green Practices to help reduce our budget came up in staff brainstorming sessions, and there has been much interest among library employees about how we can reduce the Libraries' carbon footprint and foster an eco-friendly workplace.  Our group consists of twelve staff members from all levels and locations in the Libraries.

 

The purpose of this group is to:

·         Deliver recommendations that result in reduced energy and resource use and increased awareness and understanding of green practices.

·         Complete an audit of current energy, resource, and personal appliance use to serve as baseline data.

·         Create a staff communication and education plan that makes it easy for all library staff to help us become better stewards of our resources. 

 

So far, we've created a website (available to all library staff) with group information, meeting notes, and helpful Green resources (https://wiki.lib.umn.edu/Staff/GreeningTheLibraries), and have set up an email address (Greeningthelibraries@umn.edu) so that anyone can send ideas or questions to the group.  We've scanned other institutions to discover best practices and ideas that might work for us, and have identified several potential collaborators from other departments at the U.

 

Several things are currently in progress.  We're developing a blog to be a dynamic, responsive communication tool for Green tips, progress updates, discussion, and more.  We have almost completed the audit of energy and resource use, which will give us valuable insights into where we are with energy use, and where we can go.  A survey for library staff on Green practices is in development, and we are creating a communication plan with recommendations for the ongoing exchange of ideas among all library staff.

 

So, what can you do to help?  While the things we do as individuals are small, they all add up to something bigger.  You will begin seeing Green Tips in the Monday Memo for quick ways you can help save energy at work.   You will also see a survey in the near future; please take a moment to fill it out.  If you have suggestions for ways the Libraries can conserve energy and resources, let us know via the Greening the Libraries email address!  For example, a staff member noticed that though the coffee shop in Wilson was closed for the summer, the refrigeration units were still on.  As a result, the refrigerators were turned off, saving three months of pointless energy use. 

 

Stay tuned for more from our group, and send us an email if you have questions or suggestions.  We're all in this together, and the small things we can do individually all add up!

 

Please email any comments or suggestions to the Greeningthelibraries@umn.edu!

 

Thanks,

 

Greening the Libraries Committee

Kristia Davern, Tony Fang, Liz Fine, Tammi Halvorsen, Laura Krueger, Ryan Mattke, Emily Riha, Karen Spilman, Jim Stemper, Monica Winker-Bergstrom, Philip Herold (co-Chair), Jennifer Reckner (co-Chair)

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